tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC September 20, 2010 11:00pm-12:00am EDT
any worse for him. >> it would him in the election. >> it probablyould? richard socarides, thank you very much. it's september 20th. it's the 299th day since president bush declared mission accomplished in iraq, and the 154th day of the deepwater horizon disaster in the gulf. i'm keith olbermann, good night and good luck. and now to talk about what christine o'donnell scrubbed from her website and why, ladies and gentlemen, the song stylings of rachel maddow. good evening, rachel. >> good evening, keith. you know, the network is still on the air, everything's okay, no glass broke. i think this singing thing might catch on. >> not on your life. just once. >> all right. we'll just keep doing it in the halls. >> okay, great. >> cheers. thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour as well. we do have a lot more ahead about don't ask, don't tell, lady gaga, the big day tomorrow, and the wrench that senator john mccain is so lustily throwing into the works on this issue. a report from the scene of today's rally with u.s. air force major mike elmi, and from
capitol hill on what could be another filibuster eve. and there are two big reasons why thursday is a day to mark on your electoral calendar. it should favor democrats and howard dean will help us explain. that's all to come. but first, when a political candidate comes from outside mainstream politics and that candidate gets nominated to represent a major party, and part of that candidate's appeal is that they come from outside mainstream politics, there's now a well-established process of making that candidate over, subtly, to make them seem more mainstreamy for the general election. we saw that process in action with the post-primary scrubbing of republican senate candidate, sharron angle of nevada. we saw that in the shut down all media access scrubbing of rand paul. and we're now seeing the same process at work with christine o'donnell of delaware. if you go to christine o'donnell's campaign website
right now, here's what you'll find. "victory in delaware!" a short article thanking the people of delaware for making christine o'donnell the republican nominee for u.s. senate. if you look closely, though, you will see that the date on this article is september 11th, 2010. the problem with that is that the republican primary that christine o'donnell won did not happen until three days after that, on september 14th. so christine o'donnell's website is declaring victory in the primary three days before she won the primary. spooky! how to explain the discrepancy? it could, of course, be the result of a little hocus-pocus maybe? eye of newt, toe of frog? the more likely explanation is that right after christine o'donnell won the republican party nomination, her official website essentially came down. the whole thing got replaced by this page, which prominently featured a big "donate now" button, and that was it. that was all that existed about her online for a few days, until
the new christine o'donnell website was unveiled. and when the new christine o'donnell website got unveiled, boy, things sure did look different. on the old campaign website, for example, there was this big list, prominently displayed on the endorsements page. all sorts of tea party groups and individual activists who had officially endorsed christine o'donnell's bid for the united states senate. the shiny new endorsements page looks a little different now. scrolling through, you can find that very nice giant soft focus picture of republican senator jim demint. there's also one of sarah palin there too. but many of the groups that are listed on the original endorsements page are no longer listed on the new one. you can dig around on the site and still find them, but they are not listed on the official endorsements page anymore. who are they? who's been moderate makeovered out of the christine o'donnell campaign? well, there's this guy. >> my advice to the president is, in two good words, shut up!
>> whoo! that fellow was herb dennenberg, keynote speaker at a recent event for the independence hall tea party pac, an organization prominently listed on christine o'donnell's old endorsements page, but not on the new one. here's some of the independence hall tea party pac's other magnificent work. >> we will take a literal fight to every street and capitol building in every state. we, the people of the united states, will gladly, and with honor, replenish that tree of liberty with the blood of new patriots! in order to sustain that shade of liberty which protects ourselves and our posterity from the destructive heat of tyranny. >> when he said, "we will take a literal fight," he was contrasting that with a more metaphorical, like, political fight.
he means blood, literal fight and blood. so that's the group that didn't quite make the cut anymore on the new christine o'donnell website. one of them. another group that got axed from her new endorsements page is a group called catholic families for america. see, here they are on the old christine o'donnell page, misspelled as catholic families of america. apparently as part of its endorsement process, catholic families for america has candidates fill out a four-page questionnaire. the one for 2010 u.s. house and senate candidates includes questions like, "do you promise to advocate that judges who attempt to establish secular atheism as the state religion should be removed from office?" also, "will you vote to protect the sovereignty of latin american countries such as honduras against takeovers by castro chavez leftists, who are aided and abetted by our own president?" so, yeah, for some reason, catholic families for america did not make it onto the new and
improved christine o'donnell's endorsement page. we called them today to ask their reaction to the omission. they told us in part, "we were not aware of the change on miss o'donnell's website, but we are also not concerned about it. campaigns make decisions -- or sometimes simple computer mistakes, occasionally." we also asked them if they could provide us with a copy of christine o'donnell's completed questionnaire. we will let you know if they do that. and if we get that questionnaire, we will definitely let you know how she said she feels about protecting honduras from barack obama's pending invasion. but catholic families for america shares something in common with a few of the yet further groups, yet more groups who have been purged from the new christine o'donnell endorsements page. that organization, that catholic families group, as well as the susan b. anthony list candidate fund, and the concerned women pac, they're all anti-abortion groups. the way that the conservative resurgence has been marketed
this year is as if it is all about fiscal conservatism, it's all about cutting government spending, getting the federal deficit under control, shrinking the size of the federal government, putting all those divisive social issues behind, behind them. uniting republicans and conservatives on these fiscal issues and not dealing with those divisive social issues anymore. that's what the republican comeback has been framed as. but that is not at all what we're seeing right now. from the crop of republican candidates who are getting elected as part of this conservative resurgence. as we mentioned last week, christine o'donnell is one of the many republican senate candidates this year who are moving one traditionally hot-button issue way to the right of where it has ever been before. yes, there have been lots of anti-abortion republican senate candidates over time, the whole party, almost without exception, wants to make abortion illegal. but this year, there are five candidates for senate who want to ban it without exceptions for rape or incest. christine o'donnell in delaware, sharron angle in nevada, ken buck in colorado, rand paul in
kentucky, joe miller in alaska all want the government to intervene if a woman gets pregnant because of rape or incest. they want the government to intervene to force a woman or a girl in that situation to give birth to the rapist's baby or to their relative's baby, no matter what she or the girl or woman's doctor wants. the culture war is back. culture war issues are back in republican politics this year, even though everybody said they weren't. and they're back in a big way. the right is now starting to admit it amongst themselves, even as the beltway media has failed so far to catch up. >> we do not live in a world where an american leader can just focus on the financial ledger. a political party that would govern this great nation must be able to handle more than one issue at a time. we must work to create jobs and protect innocent human life and defend traditional marriage.
to those who say that marriage is not relevant to our budget crisis, i say, you would not be able to print enough money in a thousand years to pay for the government that you would need if the family continues to collapse. to those who say we should focus on cutting spending, i say, okay, let's start by denying all federal funding for abortion at home and abroad. >> republican congressman mike pence of indiana, who won the presidential straw poll at the values voters summit in washington this weekend. saying, essentially, you want to talk fiscal conservatism, okay, let's say that abortion is a fiscal issue then! sure. why not. these terms otherwise have no meaning. at the risk of stating the obvious to everyone who doesn't work in media, what is going on on the right right now is not about fiscal conservatism. it is culture war, all over again.
>> ladies and gentlemen, we are going to have to choose as a nation between the homosexual agenda and freedom, because the two cannot coexist. every advance -- [ applause ] every advance of the homosexual agenda comes at the expense of liberty. particularly religious liberty. >> the homosexual agenda and freedom cannot exist. in the last great era of republican culture wars, it was the then-vice president of the united states, dan quayle, waging war on the tv show "murphy brown" for being a bad example of single motherhood. remember that? it was pat buchanan's podium-pounding blood-curdling call for culture war at the 1992 republican convention. it was republicans like jesse helms saying that aids is god's punishment on people who are gay because they are gay.
and maybe 2010 now, and not 1994, but the same folks, a lot of them, at least, are still around, and the same tactics are still being used. in 1994, when george w. bush defeated ann richards to become the governor of texas, he did it with the help of a whisper campaign about gays and lesbians surrounding ann richards, so you know ann richards must be secretly gay. flash forward to 2010 and christine o'donnell's effort to defeat republican mike castle, suddenly besieged by rumors from folks connected to people connected to christine o'donnell that he's secretly gay. >> i think that that's a very tacky approach. i never said that mike castle was gay. i don't endorse putting out rumors that mike castle is gay. >> are we talking about those rumors that mike castle is gay? who said that mike castle is gay? did you say that mike castle is gay? i didn't say that mike castle is gay. where might you have heard that mike castle is gay? gay. gay. have you heard that? and it's not just the same tactics being used in many cases, in many cases, it is the same exact people using the
exact same tactics. >> when the world looks at america these days, all too often they see a moral swamp, a culture promoting sex and violence. no wonder our enemies think they can defeat us. this has been the equivalent of a cultural oil spill. it's not sea otters and ducks that are washing up on shore, covered with gunk, it is our kids. >> we have to have the courage to tell the truth and we have to have the courage to act on the truth. we are allowing a brutalization and a degradation of children in this country, a destructiveness. >> bureaucrats and politicians in washington think they should decide the what kind of lightbulb we use. what kind of toilets we flush. they'll buy your teenage
daughter an abortion, but they won't let her buy a sugary soda in a school's vending machine. a lot of the money that we're spending goes to things that we know will not prevent aids, but indeed will continue to spread the disease, when a lot of our money goes to distribute condoms in high schools, when a lot of our money goes to distribute material that is literally pornographic. >> the culture wars are back. in some cases, they never went away. people got jobs doing other things, raising money on culture war issues, doing some other stuff around politics, keeping a hand in, now they've just been promoted to high-ranking electoral candidates again. trading prayer in schools for mosques. trading bill clinton's a drug dealer for barack obama's a socialist. trading abortion restrictions for even more restrictive abortion restrictions. trading the gay agenda for the gay agenda. trading don't ask, don't tell for don't ask, don't tell. the culture wars are back.
someone hide the national endowment for the arts, quick.cg i didn't realize i was drifting into the other lane. [ kim ] i was literally falling asleep at the wheel. it got my attention, telling me that i wasn't paying attention. i had no idea the guy in front of me had stopped short. but my car did. my car did. thankfully, my mercedes did. [ male announcer ] a world you can't predict... demands a car you can trust. the e-class. see your authorized mercedes-benz dealer for exceptional offers through mercedes-benz financial. ♪ but these days you need more than the book. you need website development, 1-on-1 marketing advice, search-engine marketing, and direct mail. yellowbook's got all of that. yellowbook360's got a whole spectrum of tools. tools that are going to spark some real connections. visit yellowbook360.com and go beyond yellow.
as of september 23rd, insurance companies will be prohibited from dropping you when you get sick. there's a lot going on in american politics thursday, september 23rd. a lot of health care kicks in. it's also the day republicans have chosen to unveil their latest in a long line of brave new manifestos for america. governor howard dean joins us next. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro. lord of the carry-on.
sovereign of the security line. you never take an upgrade for granted. and you rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle. and go. you can even take a full-size or above. and still pay the mid-size price. i deserve this. [ male announcer ] you do, business pro. you do. go national. go like a pro. on friday's show, we pulled a full martin luther, finding a door somewhere in the props department and sort of vaguely nailing to that door all the
various conservative treaties that have been published in the last year and a half. all the manifestos and candidate pledges and ten-point plans and national agendas that have been promoted this year as conservatives try to find what it is they stand for now in their post-bush, post-mccain era. that little bit of maybe should have been rehearsed more theater was meant to show just how many conservative agendas there are out there now, in advance of the national republican party releasing an agenda, an agenda republicans have been promising for months now, but that we still haven't seen. well, today they finally set a date. this thursday, september 23rd, republicans say they will announce what amounts to their agenda. this year's version of the contract with america. six weeks before the 1994 congressional election, the first midterm election of president clinton's time in office, soon to be speaker of the house, newt gingrich, announced that party's contract with america then. this is supposed to be sort of the same thing this year.
except this year, there are two big twists. first republicans this year tried to get their ideas from the internets. they built a website called americaspeakingout.com where they solicited what they described as america's ideas for a republican agenda. flipping through that site today, the single idea that seems to have the most thumbs up votes is "decriminalizing marijuana," legalizing pot. so if the republican legislative agenda for 2011 is really going to be based on what republicans learned on americaspeakingout.com, we can all look forward to would-be speaker john boehner on the cover of "high times" really soon, man. if republicans don't adopt legalizing pot as their legislative agenda -- who thinks they will -- everybody gets to ask why they bothered soliciting americans' advice online anyway if they were just going to ignore that advice. but here's the other interesting
twist to this big unveiling. on this thursday, september 23rd, the day republicans pegged to unveil their agenda, could be a date that is just as important for defining this year's democratic agenda. this thursday, september 23rd, is the day that a lot of health reform goes into fuller effect. leave it to democrats to make this a complete mystery to 99% of american voters. but six months ago on this show, we told you to mark your calendars for september 23rd. the next day to mark down in your calendar, 90 days after that, is september 23rd. as of september 23rd, it will no longer be legal in this country for insurance companies to deny kids coverage because of a pre-existing condition. as of september 23rd, insurance companies will be prohibited from dropping you when you get sick. no more recisions. as of september 23rd, insurance companies can no longer impose lifetime limits on your benefits. and if you have children, they can stay on your insurance until the age of 26. all of that will happen in just
six months. and that will all happen on the date the republicans choose to unveil their legislative agenda for the midterms. how's that for a scheduling conflict? joining us now is cnbc contributor, former governor of vermont, and former democratic party chairman, dr. howard dean. governor dean, thanks very much for your time. >> thanks for having me, rachel. >> so republicans have tried to make health reform into this terrible thing that should be feared and repealed and defunded. isn't this an opportunity for democrats to run on what health reform really is? i mean, these changes may happen in the law, they may not translate to everybody's lives right away, but they're real concrete changes. >> they are real changes. and they are good changes. i think that there's a certain amount of education we can do about health care, but by and large, i think we've passed that one by. i think this is really going to be about jobs and the economy, and it's going to be about who's a better steward of the economy, and i think the republicans have got a problem, and i think the president needs to keep
reminding the people of this country who got us in the ditch in the first place, as he has more frequently in the last couple of weeks. >> but you think republicans get to run on how awful health care is with -- >> no. >> pulling the plug on grandma and all that stuff and democrats shouldn't run on what's good about it? >> no, they don't get to run on how bad it is, because that will be fine for their base, but they're going to vote for them anyway. average people get that this isn't so bad. republicans know very well that repealing health care is a loser for them. and they don't say it very often. they're trying to change it around to repeal and redo or something like that. their base hates it, but that's their base. that's the tea party people. that's the people who want to tell women what to do and basically become the ayatollahs of america. that's a very small part of the electorate. the big part of the electorate does not want health care repealed. they want it fixed. and it puts the republicans in a bad spot, because their base is so dogmatic and so unwilling to tolerate even from the republicans any difference of opinion. >> do you see the resurgence of culture war issues on the right?
obviously, the economy is the main issue for everybody in the country, but the resurgence of really extreme politics on abortion, a lot of the politics around this don't ask, don't tell issue, the religious freedom issues around muslims and islamophobia, the resurgence of these really hot-button culture war issues, how do you see those playing out in terms of election results? >> i think it's the last gasp of the right. i think they're incredibly energized. the republicans know that the new generation isn't going to buy any of this. if the republicans succeed in this election, it will be because young people don't vote. but they'll be back in 2012. young people in this country can't stand all this anti-gay bigotry, the anti-immigrant bigotry, the crackpot, obama's a muslim stuff. they don't like all that stuff and they're not going to vote for republicans. you know, the republicans know, the smart ones that are in charge of the party -- some of them are smart in charge of the party. the republicans know that you can't -- you could get to young people by being fiscally
conservative. our kids are more fiscally conservative than we are. but you can never get to them by attacking their friends. and their friends today are immigrants, gay people, lots of people of different kinds of races, and that's the future of america. so this is really the last gasp of the far right, energized by a bad economy. >> as famously a 50-state strategy guy, when you were democratic party chairman, somebody believed that every republican district should be contested and that every race is at least theoretically winnable, democrats should at least try, what do you think is the key toward getting more democratic voters to actually go vote this year? toward upping democratic enthusiasm? >> well, i do think the president makes all the difference. if he's out there doing what he's doing today, he did a town meeting today, it was very, very good. he -- if he's out there all the time, and he needs to be harry truman. i'll tell you, i have heard more times from people in the street, yeah, you know, if you put the car in "d" it goes forward and if you put the car in "r," it
goes backward and you don't want to give the keys to the same people who put us in the ditch. people get that stuff. you don't have to campaign against george bush, but people know who got us in this problem. the president's got to remind people about that and then go on and talk about the positive things he has done and wants to do. and that's the election winner. i've said before on your show, that i do not think we're going to lose either the house or the senate. we simply have better candidates and people are afraid of extremists and they won't vote for them. there'll be some that get elected to the senate, but not many. >> you stand by your prediction that democrats keep the house and the senate? >> i do. >> dr. howard dean, cnbc contributor, former governor of vermont, former democratic party chairman, thanks for joining us, gov.. >> thanks for having me on. so there's a bunch of don't ask, don't tell news right now. first, the big vote is scheduled in the senate tomorrow, that could conceivably move the whole mess toward repeal. second, there was a spectacular anti don't ask, don't tell rally organized on really short notice in maine today, meant to make sure tomorrow's vote matters. and third, lady gaga was there.
that's it. you don't follow lady gaga with anything. she always gets to go last. that's next. ♪ when it's planes in the sky ♪ ♪ for a chain of supply, that's logistics ♪ ♪ when the parts for the line ♪ ♪ come precisely on time ♪ that's logistics ♪ ♪ a continuous link, that is always in sync ♪ ♪ that's logistics ♪ ♪ there will be no more stress ♪ ♪ cause you've called ups, that's logistics ♪ no, that's the name of the new oreo cookie. what's the name of the new oreo cookie? [ eli ] heads or tails. tails. tails. heads. heads. tails. heads. heads? oh, no. heads. what? [ shaq ] heads. [ venus ] tails. [ apolo ] tails.
[ dog barking ] [ sniffing ] [ male announcer ] missing something? like 2 pairs of glasses for $99.99 at sears optical, with bifocal lenses for just $25 more per pair. hurry in to sears optical today and don't miss a thing. we need directions to go to... pearblossom highway? it's just outside of lancaster. sure, i can download directions for you now. we got it. thank you very much! check it out. i can like, see everything that's going on with the car. here's the gas level. i can check on the oil. i can unlock it from anywhere. i've received a signal there was a crash.
we found out last week that democrats were going to put the defense authorization act, which includes allowing the military to repeal don't ask, don't tell, on the table tomorrow. but there were two things we did not know, even once we learned that. two things we didn't know about how this 17-year-old clinton-era policy of kicking gay people out
of the military might finally meet its long-overdue end. first, would republicans filibuster the entire authorization for pentagon spending, including the wars, in order to keep on kicking gay people out of the military? the answer to that first question, we have learned, is yes. they are planning to filibuster the whole defense authorization bill tomorrow. the second thing we did not know is what would john mccain do? john mccain, with all the authority he brings to military and national security issues, what would he do on this issue? would john mccain do what he said he would do all along on don't ask, don't tell? you'll recall that just a few years ago, mccain pledged that once the military came out in favor of repealing the policy, he would also support repealing it. >> the day that the leadership of the military comes to me and says, senator, we ought to change the policy, then i think we ought to consider seriously changing it, because those leaders in the military are the ones we give the responsibility to. >> well, now the military
leadership is for repealing the policy. and it's not just the commander in chief. >> this year i will work with congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are. >> beyond the commander in chief, it is also the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and the defense secretary. >> it is my personal belief that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly would be the right thing to do. >> during the state of the union address, the president announced he will work with congress this year to repeal the law known as don't ask, don't tell. he subsequently directed the department of defense to begin the preparations necessary for a repeal of the current law and policy. i fully support the president's decision. >> so the first question we had was, will republicans filibuster the whole pentagon authorization bill because of don't ask, don't tell? yes, they will. second question, what will john mccain do?
now we have an answer. not only will he not support repealing don't ask, don't tell, even though he said previously that he just needed to hear from the military brass on this, not only will he not support repealing don't ask, don't tell, john mccain says he will lead the filibuster of the bill that contains it. >> that leads us to an amendment to strike the provision in the bill that would repeal the don't ask, don't tell law as the only other issue the senate will be able to debate and vote on. i'm opposed to amending the national defense authorization act at this time. >> in senate-ese that means, i can feel a filibuster coming on. so now the pressure's on for john mccain's colleagues in the senate to find 60 senators to override the filibuster he's going to lead. it is reported thus far that senator jim webb of virginia will vote with republicans on this, and that means majority leader harry reid and the democrats need least two republicans to help them repeal don't ask, don't tell. who might those republicans be?
oft-mentioned possibilities are olympia snowe, susan collins, scott brown, george voinovich, and dick lugar. two of those senators are from the same state, the state of maine. so that's why you had this event in portland, maine, organized by the service members' legal defense network, and the pop star about whom every continues to say, get her as a guest on your show, to which i continue to show, boy, i'd love to. >> i'm here because don't ask, don't tell is wrong. it's unjust. and fundamentally, it is against all that we stand for as americans. in any workplace, there are tensions. there's even more possibility to have tension when you're fighting for your life. but i'm more concerned that john mccain and other republican
senators are using homophobia as a defense in their argument, as the nexus of this law, openly gay soldiers affect unit cohesion. like, like it's okay to discriminate or discharge gay soldiers because "we are homophobic." "we, we are uncomfortable, and we do not agree with homosexuality, and i can't focus on the field of duty while i am fighting." >> in less than 24 hours, the united states senate will have the opportunity to pave the way for a complete repeal of don't ask, don't tell. the policy may begin to die tomorrow afternoon. if lady gaga gets her way and if john mccain -- well, new john mccain doesn't. in just a moment, we'll be talking with nbc news producer ken strickland in washington this evening for the latest on the senate vote and then major mike almy will join us. he was discharged from the air force on don't ask, don't tell.
he spoke today at the maine rally. when and how and if don't ask, don't tell is going to be repealed, when we come back. the fun, the fast, the solid glk. see your authorized dealer for exceptional offers through mercedes-benz financial. seemy friends at work think there's more than one "me." ...because on our trips, i always get there faster. see, expedia lets me mix and match airlines.
so i can take one airline out... and another home. so with more flight options, i can find the combination that gets me there and back quickest. with a little help from expedia, my friends will think i can be everywhere at once. where you book matters. expedia. look at all this stuff for coffee. oh there's tons. french presses, expresso tampers, filters. it can get really complicated. not nearly as complicated as shipping it, though. i mean shipping is a hassle. not with priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service. if it fits it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate. that is easy. best news i've heard all day! i'm soooo amped! i mean not amped. excited. well, sort of amped. really kind of in between. have you ever thought about decaf? do you think that would help? yeah. priority mail flat rate box shipping starts at $4.95, only from the postal service. a simpler way to ship.
there are two things that senator john mccain is so opposed to he is planning to filibuster the defense authorization bill because of them. they are don't ask, don't tell, which john mccain had said he would want to repeal if military leadership supported the policy. military leadership now does support the policy, but senator mccain still does not. the other thing is the dream act, which is not yet in the bill, but democrats are seeking to add it to the bill with an amendment. john mccain co-sponsored the dream act, which is an immigration measure, but he's now so opposed to this thing that he co-sponsored that he is willing to pledge to filibuster the defense authorization bill to stop that one too. here to walk us through the big confusing day tomorrow is nbc senate producer, ken strickland. ken, thanks very much for being here. i know you hate being on tv. >> i don't hate being on tv with you, so i'll give you a pass. >> that's very kind. vote is set for tomorrow, 2:15 eastern. do we know if harry reid has 60 votes to beat the republican filibuster on this?
>> right now, at this moment, we do not know if he has those 60 votes. and like many things in the senate, when it gets close like this, it basically comes down to a handful of moderates. you mentioned two of them. olympia snowe and susan collins, both of maine. i talked to both of their offices today and they're still both uncommitted, undecided. however late in the afternoon, olympia snowe released a statement. while she didn't say exactly what she wanted to do, she was very critical of harry reid and the process in bringing this bill forward. and she talked about the review. remember back in march, president obama had told the military to review the don't ask, don't tell policy. what many republicans, most republicans who oppose this measure, they pin that on their main reason for opposition, that the bill should be repealed after that review is done. that review's not scheduled to be done until december. democrats, supporters are of repealing the ban say that passing this measure does not repeal it. it just says that once the president, the secretary of defense, and the joint chief have certified it, then it can be repealed. once they've certified that
report. but right now, we don't know. there's going to be a big meeting tomorrow. there's usually always a big caucus meeting between democrats and republicans, where they go to their own corners and talk it through. after that meeting which starts at 12:30, once that starts to break up, we'll start to get some early reads on how this is going to play out. but at this hour, we don't know for sure how it's going to work. >> are there offices other than snowe and collins that people will be watching for for potential republican defections on this? i'm assuming that jim webb is still planning to vote with the republicans on this as well as the democrat. >> i talked to his office too, not clear how he's going to do this as well. the obvious suspects are your moderates. susan collins, especially people are looking at, because she was on the armed services committee. when that bill was debated in the committee, she voted with democrats. but right now she's still mum. look towards your moderates, towards people who are retiring, see how it plays that way. but right now all the pressure is on senators collins and snowe from maine. >> ken strickland, nbc's senate producer, ken, thanks very much for being here.
i have a feeling we'll be bugging you all day tomorrow so keep us posted on how things are going. >> no problem. >> joining us now is major mike almy, who was discharged from the air force under don't ask, don't tell, although he was asked and never told. he testified at the federal trial that resulted in don't ask, don't tell is unconstitutional. today he spoke at the rally in maine. mike, thanks very much for being here. nice to see you again. >> good to see you again. thank you, rachel, for having me. >> hearing that update from ken strickland, from our senate producer there, do you have any expectations in terms of what's going to happen in the senate tomorrow? are you optimistic about the chances for repeal? >> personally, i'm still optimistic. there's been so much effort to get us to this day tomorrow, and there has been so much pressure, so much grassroots movement to get these senators to sway their vote, to support the american public on this issue. the reality of it is we just don't know, as ken strickland just highlighted, it's all going
to come down to tomorrow afternoon and it's going to be a real nail biter. >> i wonder if being at that rally today, i was looking at the crowd shots of that rally, and it's obviously people turning up for lady gaga, but also for the issue, such a young crowd out there on that beautiful day in portland, maine. i wonder if that sharpened for you your sense that we've talked about before that this is really a generational issue. >> it certainly is. and today just really highlighted that. there were so many young faces out there, college students, high school students, young adults, partly because of lady gaga, but also because of this issue, because they're so passionate about this issue, and the younger generation in america, which is primarily the 20-somethings serving in the military today, the largest demographic, they by and large just don't care about this issue. they've grown up with gays and lesbians in their high school and on their sports teams, in their communities, and certainly in their military. and for them, it's just a nonissue. and it just highlights how out
of touch the washington leadership is on this issue. and it's a sad day when lady gaga has shown more leadership on this issue than the large majority of our elected officials in washington. >> let me ask you specifically about the argument that she was making, that we excerpted in the lead-in in here. she's essentially saying that the whole cohesion argument, the whole good order and morale argument hinges on the idea that it's okay to be virulently homophobic in the military. that the people who have a hard time serving alongside gay people, that they're not the issue, that if they have a problem, that gay people are the ones that have to go. she's saying, actually, the problem should be that if you're really homophobic and distracted by gay people, maybe you ought to go home. what do you think of -- it's interesting -- she's a 24-year-old pop star making this argument, but it's a substantiative argument. what do you think about that? >> i think she was spot-on. and if you remember, way back in 1993 when colin powell and the other military leaders testified before congress, they alluded to that very fact. that don't ask, don't tell isn't there to protect the gays and lesbians serving in the military.
it's there because of the homophobia in the military. because the straights that are serving in the military didn't want to serve alongside the gays and lesbians that are already in their units. they felt uncomfortable. it's not there to protect the gays and lesbians, because we're already serving. we've been serving. as long as we've had a military defending this nation, we've had gays and lesbians serve in them and we will continue to serve. >> major mike almy, thanks very much for being here. and just as we're going to be bugging ken strickland all day to find out how things are going, we'll probably be bugging you too. stay in touch tomorrow, okay? >> always a pleasure, rachel. thank you. >> thanks, mike. coming up on "countdown," president obama hosted a town hall today and got an earful from his supporters. richard wolf weighs in on that. and on this show, when publicly taking credit for someone else's successful idea, it is often helpful if you didn't oppose that exact same idea in public. otherwise, you might get booed. voters are angry and some of them keep track of these things. please do stick around.
- woman #1: hey. - woman #2: hey. i was just in town for a few days and i was wondering if i could say hi to the doctor. - is he in? - he's in copenhagen. - oh, well, that's nice. - but you can still see him. - you just said he was in-- - copenhagen. - come on. - that's pretty far. - doc, look who's in town. - ellen! - copenhagen? - cool, right? vacation. - but still seeing patients. ( whispers ) workaholic. - i heard that. - she said it. - i-- cisco-- introducing healthpresence. ♪ now the healing power of touch just got more powerful. introducing precise from the makers of tylenol.
precise pain relieving cream works quickly to activate sensory receptors. it helps block pain signals fast for relief you can feel precisely where you need it most. precise. only from the makers of tylenol. precise. hz when life's this hard, graduating can be even harder. but you can help jose and the students in your community make it through by visiting boostup.org. [ female announcer ] start your morning... hey. what are you doing up? i thought i'd take a drive before work. want to come? [ female announcer ] or make his day. yeah. [ female announcer ] maxwell house gives you a rich, full-flavored cup of coffee, so you can be good to the last drop.
and how that good senator earned every bit of it? that's next. also, we have one programming note for you. the big vote on the defense authorization bill is scheduled for tomorrow at 2:15 p.m. eastern. senator john mccain is expected to lead a republican filibuster of the defense bill, as a means of trying to keep the military from repealing don't ask, don't tell. a historic vote that has been 17 years in the making. msnbc will be covering the action in the senate tomorrow afternoon and i will be on dayside msnbc with msnbc's chris jansing in the 3:00 eastern hour. we encourage you to tune in for that. more "rachel maddow show" in just a moment. ♪
♪ [ male announcer ] every business day, bank of america lends billions of dollars, to individuals, institutions, schools, organizations and businesses. ♪ working to set opportunity in motion. bank of america. an everyday moment can turn romantic at a moment's notice. and when it does, men with erectile dysfunction can be more confident... in their ability to be ready with cialis. with two clinically proven dosing options, you can choose the moment that's right for you... ... and your partner. 36-hour cialis and cialis for daily use. cialis for daily use is a low-dose tablet... you take every day, so you can be ready anytime the moment's right.
day or night. tell your doctor about your medical condition... ... and all medications and ask if you're healthy enough for sexual activity. don't take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. don't drink alcohol in excess with cialis. side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed back ache or muscle ache. to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than 4 hours. if you have any sudden decrease or loss in hearing or vision, stop taking cialis and call your doctor right away. 36-hour cialis or cialis for daily use. ask your doctor if cialis is right for you. for a 30-tablet free trial offer, go to cialis.com. i really didn't see it coming. i didn't realize i was drifting into the other lane. [ kim ] i was literally falling asleep at the wheel. it got my attention, telling me that i wasn't paying attention. i had no idea the guy in front of me had stopped short. but my car did. my car did. thankfully, my mercedes did. [ male announcer ] a world you can't predict... demands a car you can trust. the e-class.
see your authorized mercedes-benz dealer for exceptional offers through mercedes-benz financial. ♪ no pain medicine is proven to last longer than advil. not tylenol. not aleve. nothing lasts longer than advil. pain relief that lasts. one more reason to make advil your #1 choice. stufy, can i get a refill? i wanted skim. come on, get your head in the game, stufy! thanks, stufy. man, i love that cookie. your stimulus package actually funded a very ailing financial system which was essential for small business people.
you turned around and invested in the auto industry and i believe saved millions of jobs, and i think you're actually going to make a profit on them. >> that's true. >> for some reason the public just doesn't get it. you're losing the war of sound bites, the media cycles. >> a live televised town hall, president obama was asked a lot of questions about why his plan for fixing the economy wasn't going better, going faster, but he was also asked why isn't he gets credit for the things he has accomplished? one hunch, it's because republicans are taking credit for what he's accomplished on the economy. they are taking credit for what he and democrats in congress have done while simultaneously arguing that those same things are bad for america. they're doing both those things at once. hey, give me credit for this awesome thing, that i'm against. this is dino rossi, against democratic senator patty murray. that's in washington state. he isn't just running against
senator murray, he's also running against the stimulus, the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad stimulus. >> it really isn't creating jobs. because the government can only create temporary government jobs. >> rossi against the stimulus, can't do anything, can't create jobs. here's where it gets awkward. last week he campaigned at a shipyard that got more than $800,000 in stimulus money, and was, therefore, able to hire 80 workers. in other words, look at me, dino rossi, smiling and shaking hands with these hard-working resilient business owners while i run against the policy that made their comeback possible. tah-dah! how do you simultaneously hold both positions that the stimulus made this possible for washington state business, you were totally for, while being totally against the stimulus, which, again, is what made it possible? how can you simultaneously hold both those positions? you can simultaneously hold both
those positions only if you are incapable of being embarrassed by the fact that you hold those two positions at the same time. topping that is the man i think of as the mayor of chattanooga, u.s. senator corker. senator corker was put forward as the guy who would negotiate for the republican side during the debate over how and even whether to save the american automobile industry late in 2008. we still have a car industry in this country, that's because in large part when it was going to disappear the government decided to extend what amounted to a bridge loan to the industry. when the plan for bailing out the auto industry was being formulated, senator corker again, negotiating for the republicans, argued if we were going to save the american car industry, the bailout of the industry should be used as an opportunity to lower the wages of american workers. >> the uaw, their benefits and their costs are way above folks like honda, nissan and toyota.
they have to agree to have a contract in place that puts them on parity, on parity with companies like toyota and nissan and volkswagen and other companies here in our country. >> other foreign companies here in our country. senator corker, of course, represents a state that is chalk full of foreign car companies that are not unionized here and already do pay their workers less. so bob corker wanted to make sure salaries of american workers employed by american car companies came down to the level being offered by nonunion foreign companies. and he wanted a firm date for those salaries to come down because that's the kind of american patriot bob corker is. that's how he wanted to use washington leverage to reduce american wages. when bob corker did not get what he want, when he didn't win a washington-imposed pay cut for american workers, he voted against saving the american car industry. he voted against even allowing the measure to come up for a
vote on the senate floor. he filibustered it. if bob corker couldn't cut american auto workers pay, then bob corker wasn't going to support the continued existence of an american auto industry. that guy i am not joking on friday went to a gm plant that was celebrating its ability to rehire 483 previously laid off workers because of the bailout that bob corker voted against after failing to get salary cuts for all its workers attached to it. bob corker went to that plant to take part in the celebration. how can you be the guy who tried to kill the bailout because you couldn't lower american wages enough and then show up at the celebration of the success of the bailout? you show up to claim credit for somebody else having saved the company despite your best efforts. what does it take to be that guy? >> we had a raucous debate in washington, a raucous debate about the future of the automobile industry.
and i was an active player in that debate. at the end of the day i think we all have to feel good about what we did. i know i contributed to strengthening the auto industry in this country. >> actually, no, you didn't, senator corker. not you. we don't have to feel good about what you did during the debate over saving the auto industry, because you voted to not save the auto industry. you voted no, because the industry was saved despite you, the industry was saved despite what you did. you were a speed bump that efforts to the auto industry had to drive over to get where they were going. you were the problem, not the solution. you voted against america having car companies anymore. you voted no because you couldn't reduce americans' wages enough. america has a car industry only because no one listened to bob corker, because bob corker lost when he tried to kill the industry. and now bob corker wants to
celebrate the american car industry that he tried to kill. there is one silver lining here, though. if senator bob corker is somehow incapable of feeling embarrassed about this, the workers at the gm plant in spring hill, tennessee, tried to help him with that emotional problem. they tried their very best to make him feel embarrassed by doing some serious heckling when bob corker showed up at their plant, their plant that wouldn't exist if he'd gotten his way. >> i would like to introduce senator bob corker. [ applause ] >> go home, corker! >> apparently the nobody's fool auto workers whose jobs couldn't kill despite his best efforts would like senator corker to be embarrassed to be showing his face at their factory